Original Article by Hei Tianshi (黑天使)
Translator’s Note: This is an English translation of the original Chinese text entitled ‘白头山血统’, or ‘White Top Mountain Family Lineage’. This blog article explains the history and principles of the North Korean political concept of the White Top Mountain Family Lineage – a recent development in the DPRK that guarantees that complete political power remains firmly within the family of the descendants of the founder of the North Korean State – namely Kim Il Sung. In this clear and concise description, reference is made to declassified Soviet files that shed light on the historical conditions regarding the Korean resistance to the presence of the imperial Japanese forces, and the circumstances surrounding the founding of the DPRK. This information reveals certain and surprising facts that are often at variance with official positions and political announcements. ACW 19.11.14
The White Top Mountain Lineage (白头山血统 – Bai Tou Shan Xue Tong) takes its name from the birthplace of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (金正日), and specifically refers to ‘Kim Jong Il and his male descendants’ (金正日的子孙 – Jin Zheng Ri De Zi Sun). In August, 2013, North Korea – for the first time in 39 years – modified the ‘Established Ten Great Principles of Party Ideology’ (树立党的唯一思想体系十大原则 – Shu Li Dang De Wei Yi Shuang Ti Xi Shi Da Yun Ze). In its revised form, the Ten Great Principles now read:
‘It shall be the will of the Korean Worker’s Party’s revolutionary Bloodline – the White Top Mountain Lineage will continue and last forever.’
In April, 2014, in order to strengthen the cohesion of the White Top Mountain Lineage of the Kim family, the younger sister of Kim Jong Un – Kim Ru Zhen (金汝贞) – was renamed ‘Kim Yo Jong (金与正. On April 8th, 2013, Kim Jong Un placed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Armed Forces on full alert, and to undergo further military training in preparation for the defence of the White Top Mountain Lineage.
1- Interpretation of the Name
Kim Il Sung (金日成) was born in the Mangyongdae area of Pyongyang, and he is the ancestor of Kim Jong Il. As Kim Jong Il was born on White Top Mountain, this area serves as the designation for his lineage of descendants. In order to strengthen the Kim family lineage, Kim Jong Un’s sister – Kim Ru Zhen – loyally changed her name to Kim Yo Jong. Kim Il Sung founded the DPRK, and Kim Jong Il was his son, and Kim Jong Un is his grandson. The formal establishment of the White Top Mountain Lineage is an act of securing and strengthening the cohesion of the nation through the male line of the Kim family.
2 – Generational Lineage
In March, 2009, Kim Jong Il announced that General Kim Jong Gak (金正阁) [First Deputy Director of the Governing Board of the Political Bureau] – who was responsible for the ideology, training, and discipline of the DPRK – had been elected on behalf of the parliamentary candidates, to the Supreme People’s Assembly. At this time, he said:
“Let us use guns to defend the Mangyongdae and Baitoushan ancestral family lineage.”
On February 16th, 2009, on the occasion of Kim Jong Il’s birthday, the Korean Worker’s Party newspaper entitled ‘Labour Action News’ (劳动新闻 – Lao Dong Xin Wen) mentioned the ‘blood inheritance’ issue and said:
‘The family lineage of White Top Mountain will be the revolutionary force that will usher in a bright new future.’
Provisions of the Kim Family Hereditary Regime
On August 12, 2013, a North Korean media source revealed that the DPRK, after 39 years, amended the Ten Great Principles of Party Ideology (referred to as the Ten Principles), which serve as the Statutes and Constitution that govern the operation of the Korean Worker’s Labour Party. According to this report, North Korea revised the Ten Principles by altering the 1st paragraph of Article 10 which states that the sole leadership of the Korean Worker’s Party will be governed by the White Top Mountain Lineage and its future generations. The 2nd paragraph of Article 10 states:
‘It shall be the will of the Korean Worker’s Party’s revolutionary Bloodline – that the White Top Mountain Lineage will continue and last forever.’
The 2nd paragraph also states:
“The revolutionary path of Kim Il Sung must not be attacked or slandered in anyway, and all opposition must fought against and eradicated – even if there is just a shred of evidence – all must be resolutely confronted and destroyed.”
According to a national policy researcher with South Korea’s Institute of Analysis, the DPRK’s official recognition of the White Top Mountain Lineage in the Ten Principles is an attempt to instigate a ‘cult of personality’ around the Kim family. Paragraph 2 of Article 10 further states:
‘The kumsusan Sun Palace (which holds the bodies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il) will forever be considered a scared place, and it shall be resolutely defended.”
And Article 3 states:
‘The portraits, film footage, and political ideology associated with the great personages of the White Top Mountain Lineage shall be revered and treated with the utmost respect at all times.’
And so on. Here, Kim Jong Un is referred to as a ‘White Top Mountain Lineage Great Person’. Whilst in Article 4 stipulates that the DPRK regime (and its leader) should refer to the ideological works of Kim Il Sung, and the general work of Kim Jong Il. This means that the Party should shape its policy and approach according to this doctrine, and that every decision should be measured to ascertain its correctness through this analysis.
3 – The Sacred Site of the White Top Mountain
The DPRK states that White Top Mountain is synonymous with the Long White Mountain (长白山 – Chang Bai Shan) situated in northeast China. The designation ‘Long White Mountain’ is premised upon the Manchurian name ‘Goromin Sanggiyan Alin’ and transliterated as ‘White Top Mountain’. The name is also derived from the Jurchen language. According to the DPRK, the Joseon Dynasty Records state:
‘The Long White Mountain – according to the barbarian people – was also known as White Top Mountain, the two names refer to the same place.’
Chinese records state that ‘White Top Mountain’ refers to the main peak of Long White Mountain, whilst South Korean and North Korean sources state that ‘White Top Mountain’ refers to the entire Long White Mountain range. The Long White Mountain is situated in northeast China’s Jilin province, on the border between China and North Korea. It is a dormant volcano that has a lake formed in a crater on its summit. This is called Lake Divine-sky Pool (湖天池 – Hu Tian Chi), which is surrounded by sixteen peaks. The Songhua (松花), the Yalu (鸭绿), and the Tumen (图们) Rivers all start here.
4 – Birthplace of Kim Jong Il
According to the latest official information from the DPRK, Kim Jong Il’s birthdate is on the 16th of February, 1942. He was born at the ‘White Top Mountain Secret Training Camp’ (白头山密营 – Bai Tou Shan Mi Ying), in Samjiyon County, which is in the North Korean province of Ryanggang. According to official DPRK records:
During the early morning of February 16th, 1942, the sky was clear and a silvering layer of snow covered the dense forest and the rooves of the wooden houses that comprised the secret training camp. His arrival was declared by two beautiful rainbows that instantly appeared in the sky, together with a bright star. Suddenly a bird (like a Magpie) flew across the sky – a leader has arrived to save humanity – Kim Jong Il is born!’
Kim Jong Il was three and a half years old when his father – King Il Sung – led the military force which advancing on Pyongyang and freed the Korean peninsula from Japanese occupation. In the 1980’s, Kim Sung Il inspected the White Top Mountain region, and officially named the summit of the mountain ‘Jong Il Peak’ (正日峰 – Zheng Ri Feng). These three Korean characters were inscribed on six granite blocks (each block measuring two meters square), which were fitted together to make one large installation.
Not far from the camp can still be seen the slogans written over 50 years ago, by members of the North Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, during the anti-Japanese armed struggle. The volunteers were excited at the birth of Kim Jong Il, and the fact that his arrival was announced by a bright star in the sky. The slogans read:
‘The bright star over White Top Mountain announces the arrival of the Perfect General, and illuminates all for 3000 miles!’
‘White Top Mountain receives the arrival of the Perfect General, who manifests the correct law upon the earth.’
‘Due to the leadership of the Perfect General Kim Il Sung, our nation – which is the first nation amongst nations – was born.’
‘The North Korean people cried with joy, and praised the birth of Kim Jong Il!’
‘The successor to the Perfect General – Kim Il Sung – was born on White Top Mountain!’
‘How wonderful! A bright star announces the birth over White Top!’
White Top Mountain Secret Camp
The White Top Mountain Secret Camp Appears on a 2009 Banknote – the background is a view of White Top Mountain. This is the area known as the Three Deep Ponds (三池渊 – San Chi Yuan) is to the west of Lion Peak (狮子峰 – Shi Zi Feng), and Little White Mountain (小白山 – Xiao Bai Shan). This is where Kim Il Sung led the resistance against the Japanese invaders – and the building structures from that time are still existent. These buildings – which consist of a command centre and guardroom – were originally constructed during September, 1936, as the secret camp was being developed. Not far from here, and hidden amongst the pine trees, is a simple wooden house with two doors – it is here that Kim Jong Il was born. The peak behind the wooden hut is named ‘Jong Il Peak’, and it has an elevation of 1,797 meters. This peak stands firm and strong – and is symbolic of the example that North Korea sets as a distinct nation. Engraved on this cliff face – in large red characters – are the three words ‘Jong Il Peak’.
According to the North Korea’s official position, as well as opinion around the world, Kim Jong-Il’s birthday falls on February 16th, 1942. However, history records state that Kim Il Sung – from April 9, 1941 – was away with the guerrilla army, which had crossed into northeast China. According to this information, this would mean that Kim Jong Il’s mother was pregnant for over 300 days – which cannot be accurate. This is why the exact date of Kim Jong Il’s birth is still a matter of debate.
In addition, the actual birthplace of Kim Jong-Il remains a mystery. According to official records in North Korea, Kim Jong Il was born on the border between China and North Korea, on the ‘Long White Mountain’, at the ‘White Top Mountain Secret Camp’, because this is known as the place where Kim Il Sung led guerrilla forces from. However, there are contradictions related to these facts. For instance, in the first half of 1940, almost all of Kim Il Sung’s family – that is his parents and his wife – were living in the Soviet Union. As they travelled between the South Camp (situated in Vladivostok) and North Camp (situated in Khabarovsk) during this time period, it is likely that Kim Jong-Il’s birth place was not at the ‘White Top Mountain Secret Camp’.
According to the declassified documents of the former Soviet Union, Kim Jong-Il was born on February 16th, 1941, in Khabarovsk at the nearby Wei-ya-te-si-ke-ye (维亚特斯科耶) Barracks. At this time, his father – Kim Il Sung – was Commander of the Independent Soviet Far East Front Army 88th Infantry Brigade (also known as the Northeast Anti-Japanese Training Brigade). Kim Jong-Il (and his father) did not return to North Korea until 1945. Kim Jong Il’s Russian name was ‘Yuri Irsenovich Kim’ (Юрий Ирсенович Ким).
It appears that because North Korea’s legendary monarchal ancestor ‘Tan Jun’ (檀君) is believed to have been born in the Tianchi Lake area – on eve of Kim Jong Il’s 40th birthday (February 15, 1982), North Korean officials announced the ‘White Top Mountain Secret Camp’ version of his birth place. Even the toys that Kim Jong Il played with as a child were presented, from small to large, (including daggers and pistols), which were arranged at the legendary birth place for all to see. This was done to establish in the minds of people the unquestionable principle of the “Only successor’ (唯一后继者 – Wei Yi Hou Ji Zhe).
5 – Counter-Attack Drill
In Korea, the Supreme Leader – Kim Jong Un – in the eyes of most people, it is like the Sun in the sky, to whom everyone should look up to. Although the Kim family has an unparalleled status in North Korea, it cannot be ruled out that a scattered few may threaten this power with heretical beliefs and opinions.
In order to prevent this from happening, and guarantee the safety of the Supreme Leader, in April 2014, the North Korean authorities held the ‘Kim Jong-Un Counter-attack’ drill. It is understood that this operation was unprecedented in scale, and that almost everyone was involved including the North Korean security ministries, the Central Organ of the People’s Army, and even heads of departments. This North Korea operation may seem elaborate, but it is not without reason, since the former DPRK leaders (and heroes) Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il Sung, (as well as North Korea itself) have been subjected to numerous attacks in the past.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2014.
Original Chinese Language Article:
“长白山”之名源自满语“Goromin Sanggiyan Alin”意译，“白头山”之名也源自女真人。据朝鲜《李朝肃宗实录》载：“长白山，胡人或称白头山，以长白故也” 。
根据前苏联解密文件的记录，金正日是1941年2月16日在哈巴罗夫斯克（伯力）附近的维亚特斯科耶军营出生的。当时他的父亲金日成任苏联远东方面军独立第88步兵旅（又称东北抗日联军教导旅）营长。金正日直到1945年才随父亲回到朝鲜。金正日幼年时的俄语名字是尤里·日成诺维奇·金（俄语：Юрий Ирсенович Ким，英语：Yuri Irsenovich Kim）。